Irish Eye on Hollywood:
John Crowley the Bookworm

John Crowley.

By Tom Deignan, Columnist
June / July 2018

Celebrated Irish director John Crowley just can’t get enough of quality literature – and his latest project is based on a book by a Belfast writer.

Crowley earned himself and his cast a trip to the Oscars for turning Colm Tóibín’s celebrated novel Brooklyn into a wonderful film, starring Saoirse Ronan. Crowley is currently working on an ambitious, big-screen adaptation of Donna Tartt’s best-selling novel The Goldfinch, due out next year.

After that, it has been confirmed that Crowley will direct a film entitled Mid-Winter Break. The film is based on Belfast-born writer Bernard MacLaverty’s latest novel. The book, published last year, is about an Irish couple struggling to hold their marriage together. Published reports suggest that Crowley will begin shooting Mid-Winter Break once The Goldfinch wraps up, and that MacLaverty himself will write the screenplay.

Meanwhile, Crowley is also adapting Rupert Thomson’s 1987 novel Dreams of Leaving for the small screen. The Irish Film and Television Network (I.F.T.N.) reports that Crowley “is set to helm the series, which will consist of six to eight episodes, based on a script from The Sense of an Ending screenwriter Nick Payne.”

Dreams Of Leaving is set in a fictional English village that is highly idyllic but also resistant to change. One native, named Moses, “escaped the village as a boy and has grown up in contemporary London.

Questioning his identity, he begins to unearth chilling secrets of his past that will lead him back to the village of his birth,” the I.F.T.N. adds.

Jamie Laurenson, of See-Saw Films, which is producing Dreams of Leaving, said the show “has parallels with the way we feel we’re living now, with a divided society, the notions of what is a safe space, what is home, what is national identity and paranoia about immigrants. It speaks to contemporary themes but at its heart is a very powerful, interesting thriller about personal identity.” ♦

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